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Legislative Update: Sunset Commission Hearing Results

Thursday, January 12, 2017   (0 Comments)
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Legislative Update: Sunset Commission Hearing Results

 

Thank you for your calls and emails to the Sunset Commission members. It was clear from some of the discussion among Commission members that they heard from us – a few offices stating that they were flooded with calls. Below is a list of the major issues voted on during yesterday’s hearing, which will be the final Sunset Commission Recommendations submitted to the 85th Texas Legislature.

 

Board Consolidation

Issue: Health Licensing Consolidation Project - This would create the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council as a functionally aligned umbrella agency by merging the Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists, Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors, Board of Social Worker Examiners, and Council on Sex Offender Treatment with the Board of Examiners of Psychologists.

Recommendation: Consolidate the behavioral health boards and programs at the Department of State Health Services with the Board of Examiners of Psychologists to create the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council. Each board will retain their current governor-appointed board, with each board's current composition. The executive council will be composed of one public member and one professional member from each board.

Commission Vote: Approved


Oral Exam


Issue:
The Board’s oral exam is an unnecessary Requirement for Licensure.


Recommendation:
Eliminate the statutory authority for the psychology board to administer an oral exam.


Commission Vote:
Approved


Post-doctoral Year


Issue:
Requiring a year of post-doctoral supervision is an unnecessary hurdle to licensure, potentially contributing to the mental health care provide shortage in Texas.


Recommendation:
Remove the statutory requirement for psychologists to earn half of their supervised work experience after receiving their Ph.D.


Commission Vote:
Approved


Definition of Psychology


Issue:
A recent court decision opens the door to unlicensed practice of psychology.


Recommendation:
Direct the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists to appoint a working group of stakeholders to develop proposed definitions of the practice of psychology. This proposal should include at least one broad and one narrow definition of psychology.


Commission Vote:
Approved


LSSPs in Private Schools


Issue:
This was a new issue proposed by Representative Thompson


Recommendation:
Allow Licensed Specialists in School Psychology to practice in both public and private schools.


Commission Vote:
Approved for Management Action (will not be included in Sunset Bill)


LSSPs Using “School Psychologists” Title


Issue:
This was a new issue proposed by Representative Thompson and Senator Hinojosa


Recommendation:
Rename licensure as a “Licensed Specialist in School Psychology” to licensure as a “School Psychologist.”


Commission Vote:
Withdrawn – not approved


PSYPACT


Issue:
This was a new issue proposed by Vice Chair Taylor


Recommendation:
Adopt the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT) to enable reciprocity between member states.


Commission Vote:
Approved


LPAs Unsupervised Practice


Issue:
This was a new issue proposed by Senator Hinojosa


Recommendation:
Allow a licensed psychological associate to practice independently, without supervision, if they meet certain increased requirements. Psychological associates would be required to hold a psychology-related master’s degree that consists of a minimum of 60 semester credit hours. Psychological associates would also be required to obtain at least 3,000 hours of practice supervised by a licensed psychologist after receiving their degree, to be eligible to practice independently.

Commission Vote: Withdrawn – not approved

 

 

TPA will continue to advocate on your behalf during this 85th Legislative Session. Please stay tuned for next legislative action steps. Legislators will need to both see and hear from Texas psychologists during this session.

 

 

Best Regards,

David White, CAE

Texas Psychological Association Executive Director 

 


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